An Arizona man convicted of murder claims he didn't do it. So has his Rockford family for years. We told you his story back in 2009 when the parole board recommended he be released and the governor wouldn't give him clemency.
This time it's not a pardon, but a plea. That gets him released after nearly four decades.
Bill Macumber pled "no contest" this week to second degree murder. The judge sentenced him to time already served. Over 38-years in prison Bill and his family never waivered from the belief he was innocent.
"Years have passed him by and now he's got to do a little bit of catch-up. So it's a, it's a good day," said Bill's brother, Robert.
Imagine falling asleep for nearly forty years. You're still there, in body. But the world doesn't stand still. This is the reality Bill Macumber faces.
Convicted of murder, Macumber spent the last 38 years in an Arizona prison. He stepped foot outside of prison walls for the first time last week as a free man.
His brother, Robert, here in Rockford says bill's got some catching up to do.
"Yea, he has a little bit of a problem with the cell phones because he's never used one."
It was another world in 1975 when Bill was locked up for the murders of two people in an Arizona desert.
Murders Macumber still says he didn't commit. Bill's original punishment was life without parole. The Arizona Justice Project and the Arizona Clemency Board worked to get him released.
"A big surprise to all of us, needless to say."
I asked Bill's brother if he ever thought his brother might not be innocent.
"No, no. Not at all, not at all."
Robert Macumber says his brother doesn't have hard feelings over the ordeal but can't deny the time he was robbed of while behind bars.
"My brother was basically in prison for 38 years for a crime he didn't commit."
Macumber's brother says that Bill should be visiting Rockford in the spring but for now, he's got a lot of catching up to do with grand kids and even some great-grand kids.
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